With only one day to spend at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures on our trip to Orlando last week, I tried to maximize our time and plan our visit ahead of time. The last time I visited Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures was about 13 years ago, and knowing I wouldn’t be visiting again for a while I wanted to try and get the most out of our trip. We had the 1 day park hopper tickets and the express pass which allowed us to cover both parks in one day and get on some of the most popular rides within minutes instead of waiting 45+ in line.
The Park To Park Tickets allows you to unlimited access to both parks the same day. Visiting both parks in one day may be harder with younger children as spending the day walking around from attraction to attraction can be exhausting, but it is certainly possible. One advantage to having the park to park pass is that you have access to the Hogwarts Express, which is not available with the base tickets. The Hogwarts Express takes you from King’s Cross Station in Universal Studios Florida to Hogsmeade Station at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park.
Is the Express Pass worth it? Yes!
For many, like myself, both of the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, were on the top of my list for must-see attractions which is why the park to park ticket was the perfect choice for our visit. The Express Pass made it possible for us to cover both the parks and maximize the time that we did have. Without the Express Pass we should not have been able to go on all of the rides that we wanted due to lines.
If you are any type of time restraint and only have one day to visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures, I’d recommend the Express Pass, it’s worth the cost. The Express Pass cannot be used on the Harry Potter rides but is good for over 25 other rides and shows including Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Jurassic Park River Adventure, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. The Express Pass can be used ride after ride, you don’t need to make reservations, you just enter the “Express Pass” line instead of the regular line. Once one ride is over you can go to the “Express Pass” line of another ride.
*The Express pass cannot be used on the following rides & attractions:
Universal Studios Florida
- Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™, Hogwarts™ Express, Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl, Fievel’s Playland
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™, Hogwarts™ Express, Pteranodon Flyers®
Tips for visiting Universal Orlando:
- You really do need more than one day if you want to see everything at both parks; shops, rides, shows ect. If you only have one day, do the park to park ticket and prioritize what you want to see.
- Before your visit, research the rides and figure out which ones you want to go on.
- The Express Pass will allow you to maximize your time
- If you do not have an Express Pass, determine what rides have the longest lines and do those first. The lines are also shorter 1-2 hours before closing.
- Utilize the park maps so you are not walking all around the park finding the rides. If it’s your first visit, stepping foot into the park can be overwhelming. It’s a good idea to have a plan in place and know which rides are in certain areas.
- If you want the full Harry Potter experience, do the park to park and use the Hogworts Express. Also plan on spending at least 1/2 a day exploring all the shops, entertainment and rides at the Harry Potter worlds.
Have you ever visited Universal Studios or Islands of Adventures?
Do you have any tips for visiting Universal Orlando?
*Thank-you to Universal Orlando for providing our family with tickets.